6 Non-Negotiable Habits of Highly Successful Real Estate Wholesalers

by | BiggerPockets.com

Earlier this week, I found myself caught up in a daydream featuring a Back to the Future-type scenario.

I was heading to my office, and I was dreaming about hitting 88 mph and boom! I was flying back to the past to go and spy on my earlier life.

How cool would that be?!

I remember I had a good chuckle to myself, and then I had a thought, “What would I say to my earlier self? What kind of real estate advice could I give that would have completely revolutionized the course of my career?”

So, I decided I’d write a blog post about it and share my advice with the family here on BiggerPockets.

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The 6 Habits of Successful Wholesalers

The following are six key habits that if adopted since the beginning of my career as a real estate wholesaler, things would have been FAR more lucrative and would have run a lot more smoothly throughout the years.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

1. They Aren’t Innovative As You Might Think

I have found that having the right mindset is one of the greatest assets I can have in this business. I used to think that successful people were always the trendsetters, coming up with the latest and greatest marketing tactic before anyone else.

Throughout my years as a wholesaler, I’ve come to find out that this is simply not true.

The people who are the most successful in real estate tend to do what pretty much everyone else has always done. The key is doing it well and with consistency, but in real estate, you don’t ever need to recreate the wheel. The truth is, there is nothing new under the sun, and this business has pretty much run the same way for centuries.


Of course, modern technology has improved the way we do things, but the principles have always been the same. It might sound crazy, but I actually encourage people to follow trends in the industry and do what is known to get good results. I like to keep things simple, and I don’t think there are any real industry “secrets” in wholesaling.

Related: Wholesalers: Having Trouble Getting Started? Take This ONE Step Today!

Our business model is to use direct mail to get the phone ringing from distressed sellers, to know how to assess the value of the property in order to determine our price and profit margins, and to network in order to build our investor-buyers list. That’s really it.

So, don’t worry about trying to be sophisticated. Do what works, and keep it simple!

2. They Use CRM Software

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management software, and I have to tell you, this was a game-changer for me!

I am not the most organized person in the world. The truth is, if it weren’t for my incredible wife, I would probably walk out of the house every day with mismatched shoes, my shirt on backward, and different colored socks. In college, I was the guy you probably didn’t want as a roommate, just to be honest.

But this type of software has truly transformed my business and helped me make more money!

My company uses one called HighriseHQ, and it enables me to clearly organize every lead, conversation, and deal that comes in the door. Even if it ends up being a dead lead, in Highrise I’m able to assign a task that sends me an email reminder to follow up with the seller in 6 months, just to touch base. I can put in notes, assign to-dos to members of my team, and a whole lot more.

There are a lot of different types of CRMs out there, so you don’t have to use the one I’m using, but I have to honestly say that this is something that will change everything for you in your business. Stop using an Excel spreadsheet and get liberated. CRMs are where it’s at!

phone app

3. They Optimize Smart Phone Technology For Business

If you don’t have a smartphone in today’s day and age, you are doing your business a disservice. There are so many apps out there that will streamline and optimize your business that having a smartphone is a must.

Here are four examples of some of the apps that I use on a daily basis:

  1. Dropbox: An online hard drive that allows me to store and share everything from contracts to pictures, to videos and more. Essentially this is a virtual “filing cabinet” that my entire team has access to.
  2. Google Voice: This is a free service from Google that allows me to have a second phone number synced to my cell phone. I have found that holding a local number in the area I’m investing in is super useful, and Google Voice gives me a layer of protection in that my actual number is never advertised to distressed sellers.
  3. Tiny Scanner: This is an app that converts my phone into a basic scanner. I can take pictures of crucial documents, and it will convert them into scans! Super useful.
  4. Gmail Mobile: All my email accounts are connected to my phone, so no matter what’s going on with myself or my team, I’m always in the loop.

4. They Have a Designated Person or Organization to Answer the Phone

I have found that I can’t handle this business all on my own. Outsourcing and delegating has become a must in my business! You need to get the right people in the right seats for things to run at their best.

When I used to send out a direct mail campaign, there were always a ton of leads that I just simply didn’t have the capacity to handle. Now that I have someone on my team who specifically does it, we are handling all the leads way better, and we are doing more business as a result.

If you don’t have the ability to bring someone onto your team right now, another great alternative is to use an answering service provider that will filter through the calls and refer the actual deals to you. This will save so much time and free you up to focus on other things. It’s a crucial tool that I wish I had used a long time ago.

5. They Have a Great Website

This is something that I’m in the process of implementing right now. The truth is, in today’s world, your business really doesn’t come across as legitimate unless you have an online presence.

And, if you’re a business that has an outdated, pixelated and, well, ugly website, it almost comes across as worse than not having one at all.

There is a lot of potential to generate very low-cost leads via a good website, but you need to put some work in on the front end to make it pop. Having a web presence will add authority and trust to your brand, and it’s another thing that I wish I had done a long time ago.


Related: Why I’d Rather Be a Wholesaler Over a Fix & Flipper or Buy & Holder Any Day

6. They Have Access to Good Comps

For our final habit, I cannot stress how much value having access to the MLS gives my business. In this business, I need access to sold comps in my area, and all the online alternatives are simply inaccurate.

Now, I’m not saying that you need to have a license, but getting access to the MLS is a different story. The MLS is the standard for sold property data, and in order to be successful, it’s best to find a way to get access to it.


So if I were to go back in time and give myself advice on starting in real estate, these are the six things that I would bring up.

Now, I’m curious: What would you add to this list?

Let’s have some fun, and in the comments section list your top 3 habits that make you a better investor.

About Author

Brett Snodgrass

Brett Snodgrass is a licensed real estate broker and wholesaler who hails from the Indianapolis metro. His mission in life is to glorify God by serving as many people as he can through his real estate business. He has a pretty active community growing on Facebook and is also the founder of SimpleWholesaling.com Come check it out now and connect!


  1. Douglas Larson

    Great article! Thanks for your insights!
    At least 3 of these things I am not doing and will work on. The only other “habit” I would add is NETWORKING with other people. Many investors and wholesalers think you can hide in a cave with your laptop and be a huge success. I think that half of my business comes from finding and nurturing good relationships with agents, title people, other investors, other wholesalers, etc. I network on BP but also in person at my local REI clubs. There are also several real estate agency sponsored events I attend throughout the year. I get to know people further by inviting specific individuals to lunch. They say, “It’s easier to make friends than money… and it’s easier to make money with friends!”

    • Jay Johnson

      Other wholesalers, ha! (Not all I’ve talked to. One is straight up and down and lays it all out about the property information). Most wholesalers who contact me with a property, even two wholesalers from this site, and want to know if I can do anything with their deal, as soon as I reply back with the dreaded words, “What’s the address”, they push me off the porch, slam the door shut, pull down the blinds, turn of the lights and all appliances, huddle together, squat down and tell each other to, “shuuh” (I guess that’s how you spell it). I never hear from them again. It’s funny to me.

    • Brett Snodgrass

      In my experience, Being a licensed Broker has had many more benefits for me than it has negatives. Some of the Benefits include:

      1. I get access to the MLS (Best source for comps)
      2. I do a little bit of work for other investors and retail clients that help Cash-Flow.
      3. When I buy from MLS (HUD, Bank-Owned Properties, ETC), I get a commission.
      4. When I sell a Property, I sometimes list it on MLS, and I don’t have to pay a listing agent commission. (Save $)

      1. I have to disclose that I am a broker when I buy a property, (no one has ever not sold me a property because I am a Broker)
      2. I have to disclose any flaws with the property that I know of…. (You should do this anyways even if you aren’t a broker).. and we usually just sell as-is and buy as-is.

      Hope this helps..

      • Zachary Clough

        Hi Brett-

        I know you disclose on your agreements that you’re licensed … I’m assuming it’s something like “Seller understands that Buyer is acting as a principal in the transaction and is not working as a real estate broker representing anyone other than him in the transaction, though he may hold a real estate license.”

        What type of language are you using in your direct mail marketing for disclosure?

  2. karen rittenhouse

    And #7, the never quit.

    So many things can stop an investor from ignorance to the bazillions of problems you can run into everyday. Highly Successful Wholesalers don’t get stopped. They find the answers they need, they create solutions to problems, whatever is needed to get from purchase and sale to close.

    To be successful, never quit.

    Thanks for your post.

  3. Luke Teson

    Great read I agree wholeheartedly to all the habits you have stated. Two I would add would be a solid work ethic, and persistence! All this means nothing if you do not go out and work hard and persist until success comes your way!

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